Published on February 3, 2020
AHMEDABAD: For Dr Jagdish Patel, his formative years were tumultuous. He was born to first-generation immigrants to Uganda from Khambhat in Anand district. He returned to his native to pursue his medical studies at Baroda Medical College.
“When I returned in 1968 to Kampala to start my practice, the climate was already getting hostile towards South Asians. I thus decided to pursue further education in the US. Our worst fears came true four years later when the expulsion of the population took place,” remembers Dr Patel. “Interested in diagnostics from early career, I chose the then unconventional path of imaging – getting trained in the discipline first in Chicago and then in Philadelphia.”
He was among the participants at the 10th Leadership Conclave hosted by IIT Gandhinagar recently to take forward innovation in education.
In his career spanning nearly four decades, Dr Patel worked as assistant professor of radiology at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, and later joined Memorial Medical Centre at Long Beach, California, where he became medical director for the imaging services.
Those years also gave him a peek into the American system of education and healthcare. “Since I retired in 2012, I have been visiting Gujarat three to four times a year, primarily to engage with the school we have established near Khambhat and a trust I run for medical services. I wish to provide a model for the education and health services for the state by example,” said Dr Patel, who is actively associated with various Gujarati groups in California.